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1874 Bruckner, Symphony No. 4


1874 (rev. 88) Anton Bruckner Symphony No. 4 ‘Romantic’
Instrumentation Strings, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns,  2 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba and timpani
Movements I: Bewegt, nicht zu schnell (With motion, not too fast) (Eb) II: Andante, quasi allegretto (Cm) III: Scherzo. Bewegt (With motion) – Trio: Nicht zu schnell (Not too fast) (Bb) IV: Finale: Bewegt, doch nicht zu schnell (With motion, but not too fast) (Eb)
Overview Bruckner dedicated his Third Symphony to Richard Wagner which upset traditional symphonists (including Brahms) and the work was received very badly as had his previous two. The Fourth, however, was Bruckner’s first really successful premiere and became one of his most popular works . The composer was a notorious perfectionist and this symphony underwent fifteen years of revision before being published in its final form in 1889. Having completed the symphony, Bruckner added the subtitle ‘Romantic’ and briefly offered a programme involving mediaeval knights, which he later withdrew.
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D) 3rd movements / Minuet / scherzo The Scherzo makes dramatic use of the horns, recalling a hunting party, as Bruckner’s withdrawn programme note suggests. This type of drama takes this this Scherzo is a long way from the traditional third movement:

The trio section provides a big contrast – . a gentle landler. It is in Gb major, the same flat submediant relationship as Haydn 104.

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